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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Bubs of Hubs, Hubs of Bubs

site_7itbbChanges are afoot! Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, the premier children’s illustration blog, has a brand new, bright n’ shiny, top of the line, never before seen contributor!  Each month Steve Withrow will be contributing one industry-related interview to this fantabulous site, and the man has talent. But who IS Steve Withrow? All is revealed in this post.

  • Racism and Disney. There are all sorts of hubbubs arising left and right these days and sometimes it’s difficult to keep track. On the one hand, Neal Gabler at the L.A. Times is saying that Walt wasn’t a racist, anti-Semite (though he cannot argue that the man wasn’t a blacklisting union buster). On the other hand, folks were under the impression that the prince in the new Princess and the Frog movie was white, and it displeased them.  Thanks to @mitaliperkins for the first link.

  • The best books lists just keep on coming.  Today, it’s all about the Kirkus.  Such lists are wonderful in terms of making me embarrassed about what I haven’t read yet.  Let’s see.  Now I need to at least read The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Heather Bass, Sylvie and the Songman by Tim Binding, and The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen before the year is up.  Time is running out.  Thanks to 100 Scope Notes for the link.

  • IMG_1025Oh, exciting exciting!  I saw the film The Fantastic Mr. Fox over the Thanksgiving holiday and it was very charming.  Just delightful.  More delightful still is the fact that the characters are now in window displays over at Bergdorf’s for the holiday season.  No need to travel all the way to New York to see them, though.  They’re right here.  Thanks to Marci for the link.

  • The other day I said to the ether, "Now I want Peter to determine whether or not it’s true that men win more children’s literary awards than women like folks always claim. Facts! I demand facts on the matter!”  The "Peter" in question was, of course, Peter Sieruta of Collecting Children’s Books.  I am now happy to report that the man came up with the answer.  I wanted facts.  He provided, and the answers may surprise you.

  • Not a teacher myself, I’ve hardly ever been to NCTE (a gathering of the National Council of Teachers of English).  Fortunately, I don’t have to go.  Monica has written up a recap of the most recent one. 

  • A little known fact: Apparently if you illustrate Lemony Snicket’s books, you begin to feel inclined to illustrate other books in the same vein.  That’s my theory anyway.  Carson Ellis, for example, illustrated his The Composer is Dead and now she’s working on a book with her husband, Decemberist Colin Meloy called The Unfortunate Demise of Whitley Rackham.  Actually, that’s more of an Edward Gorey title than anything else, but I’m gonna let my theory stand.  Thanks to Warren Truitt for the link.

  • Had you told me that a very fine collection of children’s literature collections belonged to NFL player Pat McInally I probably would have puffed up my cheeks and said nothing.  I mean, how do you deal with that information?  Whatever the case, much of it is now up for auction, so those of you with disposable incomes can now own your very own pair of original pencil drawings by Tenniel.  Thanks once again to 100 Scope Notes (and who now has a new baby!) for the link.

  • Daily Image:

My favorite webcomic Hark, a Vagrant (sorry, xkcd) has been on fire recently.  I’ve been chortling over her Sexy Tudors posting all day.  Almost missed this fairytale inspired trio, though.


To see them full-sized, go here.  Good stuff.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Re men vs. women winners of literary awards:
    Those were interesting statistics presented by Peter Sieruta at his Collecting Children’s Books blog.

    To me it’s not surprising that women have won about twice as many Newbery Medals and Honors than men. I would guess women middle-grade and YA authors outnumber men by at least by 5 to 1…or maybe it’s even 10 to 1 or 20 to 1. The exact ratio would be intresting to uncover.

    On the illustrators side, Mr. Sieruta pointed out that it’s the men who have won the Caldecott twice as many times. Here I think the men to women ratios of illustrators are more even in number…although I have no data to back that up.

    The real laugher comes in the romance novel genre. Go out to the Romance Writers of America website and see if a man has ever won a Rita Award in any of the numerous categories? Not! More to the point, has a man ever written a romance novel? No man would dare set foot in that genre.

  2. Not so Anon1. The picture book illustrators are 3/4 women. Just step foot at any kidlit conference or seminar and you will see it for yourself.

  3. I’ve hardly been following Princess and the Frog…I am still so grumped that the only thing it has in common with E. D. Baker’s book is…a frog. Argh!

  4. Hey, Anon 1. Have you ever attended the Romance Writer’s Asso. National convention? There are a number of men writing these books under female and semi-female names. And I believe that some have won the Rita. (under their pen name) They also give good lectures about the male viewpoint — which really helps the rest of us to make sure the alpha male in our romance story isn’t reacting in a non-male way.

    Fuse, has Peter noticed that all of the Caldecott winners for the last 10 years are illustrators who also wrote the story? The one exception being two best friends who talked to each other. (The Goodbye Window) Makes you wonder about the American editors’ belief that writers and illustrators should never talk to each other, doesn’t it?

  5. Gregory K. says:

    Wow. Pat McInally? the first Harvard grad to play in a Super Bowl and Pro Bowl and the guy who created a toy line also collected children’s literature? For some reason, this makes me very happy…. Thanks for compiling all the news, Fuse!

  6. Thanks to the two commenters for putting me straight in regards to the illustrator ratios of men vs. women, and the fact that MEN ARE writing genre romance novels.

    Although, it is a bit disconcerting to see grown men hiding behind women’s pen names–a bit chicken-shit in my estimation.

    The old saw that middle-grade and YA aged boys won’t read books with a girl protagonist is turned on its head if women readers of romance novels vet the author’s name (i.e. gender) before buying the book. How else could you explain the subterfuge.